Youngblood joins the Utica family

New principal announced as Lietz departs UCS


HFII Courtesy Photo

Timothy Youngblood will serve as the next principal of Utica High. He was the associate principal at Stevenson before moving to Henry Ford II as the interim principal.

Abby Williams, Managing Editor

The 2021-2022 school year will be principal Thomas Lietz’s last year at Utica High School, and on May 25, it was announced that Timothy Youngblood, Stevenson High School’s current associate principal, will be the next to lead the Chieftains.

The announcement was made through an email sent out by Utica Community Schools superintendent Robert Monroe.

“Earlier this year, Mr. Lietz shared with you that he will be leaving Utica High School for a new professional opportunity with Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, effective July 1,” Monroe said. “I am pleased to share with you that current Stevenson High School associate principal Timothy Youngblood will be the new Utica High School principal, beginning in July.”

Monroe’s email went on to describe Youngblood’s history with UCS.

“Many of you may be aware of Mr. Youngblood as he is a UCS graduate who has served in several administrative capacities with the district over the past 12 years,” Monroe said. “More recently, he was an extremely successful interim principal at Henry Ford II High School.”

Youngblood also sent out an email to teachers and parents to introduce himself.

“My name is Tim Youngblood, and I have the privilege of being named as the next principal at Utica High School,” Youngblood said. “Utica has a proud legacy of excellence, and I am excited to join the team.”

Youngblood further described his personal and professional life in the email.

“I am a proud UCS graduate. I attended Crissman Elementary, Malow Jr. High and Eisenhower H.S. (Class of 1993),” Youngblood said. “I obtained my Undergraduate degree from Hillsdale College and completed my Education Specialist in Administration from Oakland University. I began my teaching career in Anchor Bay Schools where I taught History and Biology for six years.”

Many students have questions regarding the differences between how Lietz and Youngblood will run Utica. One of the main questions was whether or not Youngblood would continue the tradition of making daily announcement videos, as Lietz has done and shared through YouTube, email, and social media.

“I honestly don’t know the answer to that question,” Lietz said. “My morning announcements are probably a little bit unique. It’ll be something that I talk to Mr. Youngblood about to let him know how I do it and what I do, and then he can go with it from there, if he chooses to.”

Another question students have is whether Youngblood will be taking over the Utica principal account (@uticaprincipal) on Instagram.

“The Utica principal account is my account, it’s hard to shift them because they’re all tied together with other stuff. He may have to create a new one and I may have to change or adjust the name on that one,” Lietz said. “I know he does some social media, he’s active on Twitter, but I don’t know if he’s active on Instagram or on Facebook. That’ll be something else that I share what I do and how I do it.”

Overall, students want to know if Youngblood is going to be as active and involved with the school as Lietz was.

“I think assuredly he’ll be every bit as involved as I was. He’s very much a student-centered guy. If you were to talk to kids at Ford or Jeanette where he’s been helping out for the last few weeks, he’s out and about in the hallways, interacting with kids, going to events. He’s engaged in that community and he knows that’s the key to being good at this position,” Lietz said. “You’ve got to know what’s going on. He’s got kids that are in high school and some in college, so he knows what you guys are doing and what’s important. I think that will help a lot. My kids are younger and I don’t know what it’s like to be a high school dad, so I think his experience is a plus.”

Lietz has high hopes for Youngblood’s arrival, and knows he will be a great fit.

“I knew whoever was going to come in was going to be great,” Lietz said. “I think Mr. Youngblood’s a really good guy. I know he is 150% committed to this place. He is beyond thrilled to be the new principal at Utica High, and that matters to me. There’s going to be mistakes and challenges, there’s going to be growing and adjusting pains, but this community is great. You guys are going to offer that grace, he’s going to give it back, you guys are going to figure each other out, and it’s going to be great.”